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Rosemary rest in peace
Five weeks have passed since that December- that life changing Ceremony. Joy, happiness, and laughter filled every single day of those five weeks and there is no doubt that those days have created a new part in me. Almost like a second heart that grew from her very presence.
“Giver?” Rosemary asked after a pleasurable round of memory passing.
“What is it?” I asked concerned by her hesitant speech.
“I want to feel…” She drifted off.
“I think it’s time I felt true pain. The pain that the Chief Elder mentioned at the Ceremony.”
No; that was the one thing I’d been hesitant to give. Any type of pain or anguish of any kind, I’d held away from her. It was my nightmare of her reaction. The pain would reach her and I would be the reason. “No,” I answered firmly.
Her eyes were concerned and questioning, but most of all, pleading. “Please Giver,” she begged, “it is my responsibility as the new Receiver of Memory. I need more difficult memories.” She looked down. “Please,” she begged in a softer tone,” it is my duty.”
It was her duty and once mine. My time was hard, and her time, now, would be too. I was to inflict that upon her.
I looked at her emphatically, searching for her bravery and courage, which I found. Though there was one attribute I could not find – which I searched and hoped for with desperation- doubt. She looked ready and brave. I knew, though I wish I didn’t, that it was time.
I sighed. “Okay, lie back down.” She obeyed. My hands were placed on her bare back as I searched for a not-so-painful memory.
Not physical, I decided.
I grabbed hold of a memory, shifting it forward. It had a child that was being given to me. I t was a baby girl that looked cute and lovable, reminding me of Rosemary. I went around holding her when suddenly a stranger came up and snatched her away. I ran after this person and called out to the baby. I want her back. She was mine. I could already feel a hole growing inside myself. A hole, I knew as loneliness. I saw the person, with the baby in their arms. When the stranger saw me, they ran faster, but then tripped, releasing the baby girl into the air. It wailed innocently and fell in the middle of the concrete street where vehicles passed through. One vehicle, a truck, came closer and closer to the baby on the street. Then, finally, it’s large eight wheels trampled over the child. Its skull was crushed against the concrete and its blood made a small river in the cracks of the road. The baby girl was dead.
Its once lively expression, was darkened, pained, and hurt. The white blanket that had kept the baby warm now wrapped around its cold body and soaked with its blood.
The emptiness in my heart grew and took over, making life almost obsolete.
This was just one bad memory that had haunted me that I now gave to Rosemary. She had so many that she was to get and that was only one that weighed off of me. It was only a little, but now, relative to the weight lifted came a new weight washed in and weighed down.
Anticipation, guilt, and a genuine feel of pain.
I looked at Rosemary who still laid on the bed with an endless gush of tears running down her rosy cheeks. Soon enough, her eyes opened as she sat up. When she did, it was a if the color of her skin flushed out of her. She grew paler and didn’t look at me. It hurt.
I could see her eyes were shocked, but with every second that passed, her shock faded, only to reveal pain. That moment I knew my NIGHTMARE came true.
“I’m sorry.” I mumbled only daring to look at her.
“Don’t-,” she paused looking for words. “May I go home now?” Rosemary asked with a new tone of speech. It sounded hurt, pale, and so terribly sad.
“Of course.” I replied while biting my lip to keep from stopping her. She walked out of the Annex room without a word. I knew, now, the changes taking place. Laughter, happiness- all the feelings I had these past weeks would be gone.
I continued to give her good memories. I tried so hard to get her smile back. Her laughter, her general happiness, I craved for
It was all different. When she looked at me, which she rarely did anymore, her eyes were different. They weren’t staring at me, nor were they glaring. They had no emotion. It was as if I weren’t there, as if she’d looked right through me, like I was invisible.
Before, her eyes would look at me with this intense fascination. They’d be fixed on me like there was nothing else, almost like she could see my soul.
Now, her eyes were laid upon me, but not touching me- not reaching me and my heart as they once had. They just looked at me like there was a wall between us. She had a blank expression. I felt so distant and lost in her eyes.
I kept giving her lighter happier memories and she confronted me about it one day.
“Giver.” What a relief to hear my name in her voice once again, but also what a depressing feeling to hear it in such a tone of hers.
I turned to her anxiously.
“Please give me a bad memory.”
“No. I'm not letting you through that again.” I tried to be firm, but guilt flourished with every word.
“It is my duty,” she reminded me. “Don't spare me that way. It is your job to give the memories and my job to receive them. If you stop, I might not be ready for my future.”
I sighed. She was right. “Lie down.”
I brought up a memory. It was of poverty. I sat on the sidewalk with only the clothes on my back, the food in my stomach and a can in my hand. My voice cracked when I spoke the words of begging. I begged and asked to each person passing. Some people were kind enough to give copper and silver coins. Some even gave paper that I found worth a lot, but others were cruel. They threw trash at me and laughed.
This memory I'd given, put tears on Rosemary's cheeks. When she got up, she asked to leave and did not look at me again and just as before, it hurt.
The next day, she asked, again, for a bad memory. I did not argue for it was my job.
The memory I gave had a feeling of terror. I was running on a sidewalk. I was running from something and it was scary and I was scared. I ran aimlessly down streets and around corners.
People were following me. They were going to do something, I knew. I'd reached a dead end and their steps were louder and closer. They were there and I was concerned. They slowly approached as if they wanted to exaggerate the suspense that terrified me.
I stopped there. I did not want to scare her anymore.
“Don't stop, continue.” She ordered.
I took a second, looking for a way to argue, but brought back the memory.
There were tree people, all males. They were only two feet away now. They hit me. It was worse than a discipline wand. They kicked me and punched me. Then shoved me to the ground and kicked me some more. I screamed, yelled, argued, begged for mercy- anything for them to stop. Then I got scared because I felt that it would never end. That they would never get tired of hurting me.
I stopped this time and Rosemary didn't argue. Instead she stayed still, lying on the bed with her eyes closed releasing her tears.
I looked away, staying as far as possible. Then she got up. I saw on her face this confusion. Rosemary had a frown on her face and concentration in her eyes as she quietly got up.
A few seconds passed and she came to me and wrapped her arms around me. I was frozen. Here she was embracing me when I'd given her so much pain. Suddenly, I felt her kiss my cheek ever so swiftly. Then- just as I hoped she wouldn't- she let me go. She dropped her arms from me and left.
Rosemary was gone and I was there alone. I sat confused and thoughtful.
Not until later did I notice how long my thought process took. The next day, Rosemary did not show up. It had been 40 minutes since the time she was supposed to be here. I was worried. I went to the Speaker for answers.
The Speaker said Rosemary had gone to the Chief Elder right after training. She asked for something that I had not expected.
Rosemary wanted to be released.
They gave her that of course.
The video screen went on showing a video tape. Rosemary's release was right before me, ready to express itself into my eyes. I saw her there sitting on a chair in a windowless room. A woman came into the room with a syringe in her grasp.
“Please roll up your sleeve.” She asked politely.
Rosemary rolled up her sleeve without hesitation. Just as the hypodermic needle reached her fair skin did she pull
“Wait!” Rosemary yelped.
I hoped she'd back out. I hoped she'd run away from them and never ask for something like that again. Then she spoke.
“I would prefer to inject myself, please.”
Shock sprawled across my face.
Pain and disbelief was what I clearly felt towards her words. She took the syringe. It was unbearable. I couldn't look and I didn't. I looked away. My eyes were closed, but still let out my heart breaking tears.
I hear the injection and then a loud thud. At the sound I had to look.
There she was, sitting on the chair, eyes half open, limp, no breathing movement, nothing. She was dead. Rosemary was dead. The community now lost their Receiver of Memory in training and I, too lost something.
I lost my second heart.